David Butcher is a lovely man. I really cannot reiterate that enough. “Australian Web of fear” spent a rediculous amount of time in total obscurity for me. For a number of years all I knew about it was that it was either made in australia or featured an all australian cast and that it was produced by “Butchgro” films. A company that I could only find the barest of bare information on. In fact; before speaking to David for the first time the accumulated 6-7 years of reseach I had done on this film had led me as far as being able to identify that this was indeed made in Australia at some point in the early 90’s or late 1980’s and that whoever “Butchgro” were they’d also done a version of “The Abominable snowmen” though at the time I only had access to “Web”.
A bit further down the line I eventually got my hands on both movies but for the best part of 5 years I did wonder whatever had happened to the lads at “Butchgro” did they maybe make even more Doctor who fan films that hadnt yet surfaced? Maybe there was a treasure trove of movies. Maybe they rebranded and were making movies to this day! I seriously thought of everything except the most obvious thing. Facebooking there names. In 2017 I did that just on a whim and was able to get in touch with David who was lovely, warm and up for talking about a movie he made well over 20 years previously! He informed me that since his film making days he pretty much spends his time these days prop building and that he’s actually appeared in Doctor who magazine multiple times and also in a Documentary that went out around the 50th anniversairy of the shows first episode while dressed in an “Earthshock” era Cyberman costume that he himself built!
Australian Web of fear to me is a wonderfully fun little film. the passion the cast and crew must have had to see this finished is nothing short of awe inspiring. it may not be the prettiest film to look at but I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, at the point of writing this the video currently sits well above 300 views; which may not seem like a lot. But to me that 300+ people who’ve been introduced to Butchgro films catalogue and I feeel like I’ve done my bit to raise awareness in that sense.
I’d still love them to make another movie at some point in the future…whether its an original work or whether they ever choose to go through with there original plans to adapt “Fury from the deep” the idea of a 21st century Butchgro production really puts a smile on my face. David didnt rule it out either! he said it was somewhat unlikely but thats not a catagoric no! so for now I’ll live in hope.maybe one day I’ll get my hands on a cleaner copy of this movie than the “n’th” generation copy I currently have. that in itself would be a treat! but for now im quite happy to squint along to this version knowing that at least I have a copy of this movie in my possession!